We buy used houses, used cars, used clothes, so why not used computers?

Dec 12, 2018 | Blog, Featured

For those with less cash to spend, or anyone aiming to be zero waste, second-hand is often the first option. For others, vintage and preloved designer items are a highly desirable commodity. The idea of sustainable luxury, giving new life or a new home to pre-loved “used” items has turned a once looked down upon concept into, to a highly regarded one. 

Here are ten items you wouldn’t think twice about buying used.

1. Cars
The moment you buy a new car and drive it out of the forecourt, it will depreciate by 40% of its value in its first year, according to the AA. Whereas a car that is one or two years old will depreciate less, so you could end up selling it on for the same price as you bought it, as long as you don’t commute between Land’s End and Inverness every day and rack up the mileage!

2. Houses
Most of us live in a ‘used house’ – and yet the thought of a previous owner does not put us off a sale. In fact, we may even be able to add value and refurbish it to our own tastes.

3. Cds & DVDs
The pre-owned market for CDs and DVDs is well established through Amazon Marketplace and eBay. Customers trust other customers’ reviews about the sellers and trust that the item is in good working condition.

4. Furniture, Art, Knick-knacks
Antiques! Where would we be without used furnishings? The Antiques Roadshow would never have existed!

5. Books
Libraries are in the business of used books. Vintage and first edition books are still incredibly sought after.

6. Wedding dresses
This is an item you can almost 100% guarantee has only been used once. After spending thousands on the dress of your dreams, most women want to get some sort of return on their dress that they only wore for one day.

7. Children’s clothing
For under 5’s especially, who are constantly growing, spending £30 on a pair of boots for a toddler or £45 on just one outfit is completely out of the question for most parents. Instead, most parents will scour eBay for shoes and clothes and can pick up great deals on clothes that were unwanted gifts, or became too small and were hardly worn.

8. Pets
Rescue animals and pet adoptions area fantastic way to help an animal in need.

9. Jewellery and Bags
Getting a designer bag or diamond bracelet is now within reach with pre-loved websites.

10. Designer clothing
A whole new industry has popped up in the last ten years around re-selling or renting used or vintage designer clothes. Shops like hardlyeverwornit and graceandted specialise in the luxury resale market, with brand advocates modelling coveted outfits. 

With all of these items, we wouldn’t hesitate to buy any of them. Their used labels, pale into significance when you realise the value they bestow, or the benefit of buying them has on the planet or to others.

But while you wouldn’t think twice about buying a dress or baby shoes that were worn for one day, or a car used for 6 months, the idea of buying a used computer still seems shocking. And yet, the items on the list above may not have been cleaned, not have been tested, and may have faults, cracks and tears – a refurbished computer will be restored to a point that you would not be able to tell the difference with a brand new version of itself.

So why aren’t refurbished computers on this list?

At SecondLife IT – we have spent nearly 15 years shouting the benefits of refurbished IT but we still face stigma around the concept of a used laptop. Our units are not simply used and given a bit of a clean and then re-sold. They are fully refurbished. Components are tested and replaced. Keyboards are re-sprayed to as-new quality and we provide a comprehensive warranty for 6 months – you wouldn’t get that with a used designer bag. So what are people worried about? We clear up some of your concerns:

You can’t tell if it’s in good condition?
We can send you images of actual refurbished computers and not just stock images. We have also revealed our full 7 stage, 55 point check that we do on all our units to ensure that the final product is cosmetically and technically perfect. If you were to take a brand new model off the shelf and compare it with one of ours, we believe you would find it hard to see a difference.

You can’t tell if it’s going to work?
We fully stress test all our refurbished computers and laptops. That means that we push all the components to the limit to see how they perform. If they don’t, we don’t sell them. This is more than would be done for a new computer.

I haven’t seen it advertised so it can’t be good
All the leading manufacturers have mega-sized advertising budgets to make sure their latest product pops up on your TV screens, on your phones and in your magazines. They work hard to convince you that new is always better. New will make your life easier, better, more productive, more engaged. But we now know that this is just a way to keep us all buying more and more, without stopping to think about whether it has the spec that we need. We don’t have big advertising budgets, so we make our case through word of mouth and satisfied customers.

 

Conclusion: Championing the refurbished computer

While our computers may have been used, by the time they leave our warehouse they will have been refurbished to a state where many of the components are new, and it will have had a re-spray to bring it back to an as-new condition.

What is more, buying refurbished computers is the best thing we can do to stop the continued mounting piles of toxic e-waste building up across the planet. Where recycling has proved to be defunct, there has never been a stronger environmental case for buying refurbished IT. It’s cost-effective, better for the environment, and while we may not have a glamorous model showcasing our products, we hope we have shown how refurbished can fit into our sustainable, responsible lifestyles. So maybe have a refurbished laptop peeking out of your pre-loved designer bag.

The pressure group RREUSE has this slogan. “It is time to put second-hand first.” (1)

We have another slogan. Give refurbished a chance.

(1) “Finland, Where second-hand comes first.” 8th November, 2018 BBC

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